2 " The Albion was a spacious pub, built in the days when a public house with any pretensions to gentility had to have fourteen foot ceilings, brass taps and a polished wooden bar you skate down. ... Bert, in his reflective moments, considered that if heaven didn't have a well-appointed pub where a man could sit down over a beer for a yarn with the other angels, then he didn't want to go there. "
" Even the reeking dark in the lion's cage seemed precious and infinitely preferable to whatever lay beyond. She would go out like the flame of a candle. Where does the candle flame go when the candle is blown out?
She laid her painted face against the iron bars and bared her teeth at death. "
" In here, Phryne, is the nursery. Do you like babies?
No, not at all. they are not aesthetic like a puppy or a kitten. In fact, they always look drunk to me. look at that one---you'd swear he had been hitting the gin. "
7 " There are good sailors. Well, some good sailors. In a way they are ideal as husbands. They drop in every six months for a wild celebration, then they drop out again before one gets bored with their company or annoyed with by their habits. "
8 " If you repose your trust in anything, Mr. Collins, you can rely on her. She may whisk you in the night as on a broom and frighten the wits out of you, but what she swears to do, she will do. And she is very fond of her maid. "
" Oh wondrous,' murmured Lin Chung. 'Oh, water, mistress of earth, valley spirit, eternal feminine!'
'Taoism again?' Phryne leaned close to hear what he was whispering.
'From the "Tao Te Ching." The old Master should have seen this. All made by water, the female, cold, moon principle.'
'Yin,' said Phryne. 'This is the womb of the earth.'
'Indeed.' He took her hand. 'Completely foreign to all male, hot, sun creatures.'
'Like me. Yang can only admire and tremble.'
'Come along.' She led him into the centre of the huge space. 'We don't want to get lost in the earthmother's insides. "
" Come to the jacaranda tree at seven o'clock and you will hear something to your advantage. Destroy this note.'
No signature, no clue to the identity. Just what sort of heroine do you think I am? Phryne asked the air. Only a Gothic novel protagonist would receive that and say, 'Goodness, let me just slip into a low-cut white nightie and put on the highest heeled shoes I can find,' and, pausing only to burn the note, slip out of the hotel by a back exit and go forth to meet her doom in the den of the monster - to be rescued in the nick of time by the strong-jawed hero (he of the Byronic profile and the muscles rippling beneath the torn shirt). 'Oh, my dear,' Phryne spoke aloud as if to the letter-writer. 'You don't know a lot about me, do you? "
" Truth came home one day, naked and wounded, having been beaten and cursed by the people who did not wish to hear, while his brother Falsehood went dressed in the brightest garments and feasted with every household.
“What shall I do?” cried Truth to the gods. “No man wishes to hear me and all beat me and throw things at me; look, I am covered with dung.”
“You are naked” said the goddess Maat, sympathetically. “No naked one can command respect. Therefore take these robes and you will walk without fear and all men will sit at your feet to hear your stories.” And she dressed Truth in Fable’s garments, and he was welcome at every house. "
14 " Another object lesson of why humans should have stayed in trees, where they could not behave in such an idiotic way. Or possibly we should never have emerged from the sea. Evolution, Phryne sometimes thought, had a long way to go before the Homo became even close to Sapiens. "
15 " Things accumulated in purses. Unless they were deliberately unloaded and all contents examined for utility occasionally, one could find oneself transporting around in one's daily life three lipstick cases with just a crumb of lipstick left, an old eyebrow pencil sharpener without a blade, pieces of defunct watch, odd earrings, handkerchiefs (three crumpled, one uncrumpled), two grubby powder puffs, bent hairpins, patterns of ribbon to be matched, a cigarette lighter without fuel (and two with fuel), a spark plug, some papers of Bex and a sprinkling of loose white aspirin, eleven train tickets (the return half of which had not been given up), four tram tickets, cinema and theatre stubs, seven pence three farthings in loose change and the mandatory throat lozenge stuck to the lining. At least, those had been the extra contents of Phyrne's bag the last time Dot had turned it out. "